Continuation - Academic Progress
The University monitors student performance and progression through its governing boards. From time to time students may experience difficulties with their studies meaning that their performance is academically unacceptable. The Continuation - Academic Progress Policy operationalises the University’s Academic Regulations which state where academic performance and progression is not acceptable, a recommendation to discontinue a student’s registration to the programme can be made (Academic Regulation 5.9-5.12). The policy provides guidance to governing boards regarding their responsibilities and outlines the steps to be followed when students have been identified as falling below the required standards of performance and progression.
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Governing Boards are responsible for monitoring the overall academic performance and progression of students registered to programmes within their remit.
The University’s Academic Regulations (5.9) state that Governing Boards will review the academic performance of students where:
- the student fails to remediate a failed module after three attempts (including in module resit for the full module, but excluding in-module repeats for assessment components and grades of IM, IA and IX); or
- the student fails to achieve any additional standards for acceptable performance and progression for the programme as defined in the programme specification.
Students should be made aware of any additional standards for acceptable performance and progression that are defined in the programme specification.
Voluntary withdrawal / exit awards
Prior to a recommendation for discontinuation being made, students should be given the opportunity to withdraw voluntarily, or to avail of an exit award where appropriate and subject to compliance with the University’s regulations and policies.
It is important that students are offered all relevant supports to help them to address their performance. Due to the varying size and nature of taught programmes different approaches may be used for ensuring that students at risk of failing to meet the require academic standards are identified and communicated with in a timely way. Typical actions taken by programmes include:
- email alerts notifying students about failed modules;
- written requests to attend meetings to discuss their academic performance;
- the development of an academic plan to be agreed to by the student.
Where issues of performance cannot be satisfactorily addressed recommendations to discontinue a student’s registration can be submitted along with supporting evidence to the Governing Board for decision. Students should be notified in advance of a recommendations being made regarding their performance and progression and be given the opportunity to respond accordingly.
Continuation and research programmes
Research Studies Panels provide advice, monitor student progress and support the supervisor student relationship. The Graduate Research Board will consider any School recommendations to discontinue a student’s registration from their research programme (Academic Regulations 7.46 and 8.34).
Information to be submitted to Governing Boards
Governing Boards need sufficient information to be able to make a decision. Material submitted should include any evidence that demonstrates that the student has been given sufficient opportunity to address their unacceptable performance. This may include:
- summary of communications/meetings held with the student regarding their performance;
- academic plans or agreed actions;
- academic record;
- in the case of a student who is not engaging with the programme an account of efforts made to offer supports.
Return to study, within the context of this policy, refers to the readmission of a former student who was previously deemed ineligible to continue in a UCD programme under the Continuation- Academic Progress process and who has a recorded registration status of ‘discontinued’. Former students wishing to be readmitted require the University’s permission.
Q1. HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESSION IS UNACCEPTABLE?
The University’s Academic Regulations (5.9) say that Governing Boards should review the academic performance of students where they fail to remediate a failed module after three attempts (including in module resit for the full module, but excluding in-module repeats for assessment components and grades of IM, IA and IX).
Your programme area will also communicate any additional standards of an academically acceptable performance that will be applied to your programme which may be found in the Programme Specification. School or Programmes may have specific criteria and a procedure for identifying and supporting students who are experiencing difficulties with their academic performance or progression. You will be given all reasonable supports and the opportunity to address concerns regarding your performance.
Q2. WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GOVERNING BOARD DECIDES THAT MY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESSION IS UNACCEPTABLE?
If attempts to address identified issues aren’t successful and your academic performance and progression remains unacceptable, the Governing Board responsible for your programme may be asked to consider discontinuation of your registration from the programme. As part of this process, you will firstly be provided with the opportunity to consider withdrawing from the programme or taking an exit award, where sufficient credit has been accumulated and such an award is available.
Q3. CAN I MAKE A SUBMISSION TO THE GOVERNING BOARD?
Yes, you will be informed that your case has been referred to the Governing Board and you will be invited to make a written submission to the board in response to the recommendation to discontinue your registration to the programme. If you choose not to make a submission the Governing Board will make a decision without the submission.
Q4. CAN I APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE GOVERNING BOARD?
You may submit an appeal against the decision of the Governing Board but appeals may only be made on specified grounds and evidence to support your appeal must be submitted. Grounds for appeal include:
- New evidence: Information directly relevant to the decision, which for good reason was not available to the Governing Board (subcommittee).
- Procedural Irregularity: There is evidence that the procedures relating to a decision were not followed properly, which may have impacted on the sub-committee’s decision.
Appeals must be submitted within 10 working days from the date of issue of the decision. For more information please see Student Appeals Procedure.
Q5. WILL I BE ABLE TO RETURN TO UCD?
Applications to be readmitted to the same programme or a different UCD programme will be reviewed by the relevant Governing Board. The Governing Board will review the application and may seek additional information to demonstrate that they reasons your registration was previously discontinued have been satisfactorily addressed.
Each programme has a dedicated Student Adviser who can offer support, information and advice.
Access contact details and information on a range of student issues.
UCD Chaplains are available for support, guidance and advice.
The SU Sabbatical Officers are available to offer assistance and support to students.
Student Counselling Service is provided by professionally qualified psychologists and counsellors.